With all types of exercise, there is a certain learning curve. Whether it’s martial arts or rock climbing or skiing, there is always a skill to learn.
But the expectation (backed by experience) is that it’ll get easier with practice. Running for 30 minutes will be easier after doing it three to five times per week for a month. If you do push-ups every day, you will soon be able to do 3 instead of barely 1, then 5 instead of 3 and so on.
Not so much with Pilates. The best-kept secret in the Pilates profession - that you don’t want your new students to know - is that it’ll get harder the more you practice. Say what?
When you first begin Pilates, you perform all the exercises with the muscles that are already strong. You go through the moves. Fine.
Once you’ve learned the movement pattern, and you have a good teacher guiding you, you will start to fine-tune your alignment. It’ll feel like your teacher nitpicks every move you make. It’s for your best, you know.
What your teacher is trying to do is trigger the muscles that have been working less than others. We all have certain muscles that are strong and others that are weak. The strong muscles want to work all the time, they know how. They’ve had lots of practice. The weak ones don’t, they want to continue to be lazy.
The whole point of a Pilates practice - in my humble opinion - is to get your weak muscles to work and the overworked muscles to chill.
Understanding that, you can imagine that it’s much more difficult to strengthen muscles that have no interest in waking up from their slumber. They much prefer to stay off duty. Have you ever tried to get a child out of bed and to school in time? Lots of work. Mentally and physically challenging, just like Pilates.
Yes, eventually, it will get easier. Just like the teenager becomes an adult, but that takes years. Sorry, folks! You wanted the truth, didn’t you?
The upside of this is Pilates will never get boring. You’ll never outgrow it. There will always be something to work on.
PS: Honestly you don’t have to worry about a Pilates newbie finding out and scaring them off. Even if you tell an uninitiated this sad/glorious truth, they won’t get it because they have never experienced anything like it, so they don’t even have a concept of it, and can’t imagine it.
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